June 23, 2024
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Election security is a collaborative effort – Prof Aning

The Director of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Professor Kwesi Aning, says election security is a collaborative effort involving all the security services.

His comment follows DCOP Gabriel Prince Waabu, Director-General, Research and Planning, who said on Tuesday that the police will take the lead role in providing security for the upcoming December election.

DCOP Waabu who joined a panel discussion on Monday, February 19, at the launch of Elections Headquarters, a JoyNews’ programming for the coverage of the 2024 general elections, said the men in black had learned a lot of lessons from policing past elections.

He made particular reference to the exclusive policing of the internal primaries of the New Patriotic Party and National Democratic Congress by the GPS and pointed to their peaceful nature.

DCOP Waabu contrasted that with the pockets of violence that attended the election 2020, which was policed by the combined security agencies.

He said the police would devise strategies from those lessons and ensure an incident-free 2024 elections, suggesting the military may not play any role at all.

But Professor Aning insists election cannot be handled by police alone.

“So the statement that the police will be lead and the military will not be part of it, didn’t get out well for election security it is a collaborative framework,” he said on JoyNews Desk on February 20.

The Director of Academic Affairs explained that although the police were the main agent in charge of internal matters, the nature of elections necessitates an all-hands-on-deck approach.

He, therefore, stated that the police officers’ comments were unfounded.

“If you remember how the election security framework looks, every single statutory security institution is part of that framework with the police in the lead.

“For almost all elections we need first immigration, customs, and prison help or support the police in providing security at all the number of polling stations.

“The military is the backbone to be able to deal with situations when they get out of hand. And I think it is crucial in the last couple of elections that the Ghana Police Service has horned its skills in terms of identifying the polling stations with a lot of constituencies that may have some difficulty and then together with the intelligence we find ways and means of responding and find ways and means of preventing them from getting out of hand,” he added. 

Meanwhile, the police has since distanced itself from DCOP Waabu’s comments.

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